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Harrisburg Public Schools History

From three little log huts in Poinsett County in 1868 to several buildings on two campuses the Harrisburg School System has undergone many changes.

In 1875, there were five districts in the county with five rude log schoolhouses. Schools were taught from one to three months in the year. In 1883, there were 863 children of school age and no school was taught for more than five months. By 1895 the county had progressed to 32 nice school buildings and 19 districts and school was being taught from six to nine months per year. By 1897, it became evident that Harrisburg needed a new school building. A two story brick building was constructed on Brooks Street. It was a grammar school including grades one through nine. Board of Directors included M.D. Simmons, G.T. Garvey, and L.D. Freeman. This building served school children in Harrisburg until 1918 when a much larger two-story brick building was constructed on South Street. The contract for the building was let to J.E. Hollingsworth and Co. of Memphis in June 1918. It was to have been completed by October 1918, but was delayed until March 1919.

From September 1918 until March 3, 1919, students attended classes in churches until the new building was completed. H.E. Brown was superintendent; board of directors J.G. Dobson, A.B. Caplinger, Dr. R.E. Yarbrough, L.C. Griffin, A.S. Bradsher, and H.H. Fraysser.

For more than 50 years this building served as a place of education for students in the Harrisburg School District. For 30 years it was the only building on campus.

Consolidation in the Harrisburg School District began in 1945 with Greenfield District followed by Bethel, Whitehall, Wyley Crossing, Bolivar, Burrow, Pleasant View and Valley View. Average daily attendance rose from 317 in 1943-44 to 937 in 1959-51. Whitaker and Weona School District were shut down and joined the Harrisburg School System.

On July 1st, 2010, Weiner School District was annexed into the Harrisburg School District. Harrisburg School District now consists of 4 schools. Harrisburg Elementary School, Harrisburg Middle School, Harrisburg High School, and Weiner Elementary School.

As of July 1st, 2021, the Harrisburg School District consists of 3 schools: Harrisburg Elementary School, Weiner Elementary School, and Harrisburg High School. 

Source: Poinsett County, Arkansas—Turner

Poinsett County Historical Society